Moving home can be an exciting prospect, but whether it’s due to jobs, schools or moving nearer to family, changing location can present additional challenges to the usual process.
Whether you’re moving from the city to the countryside or vice versa, there are some important factors to bear in mind when it comes to relocating. Brian Murphy, Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, shares his top tips for those on the home moving journey and looking for a change of scene.
1. Know your budget
If you’re moving home, it may be easy to assume from the value of your current property what you’ll be able to afford elsewhere. For example, if you’re in the city, you may think you’re easily able to upsize in the countryside. However, this isn’t always the case.
Before you start looking at new properties and locations, it’s essential that you have a realistic idea of what kind of property your money will get you. Having an official valuation of your home will help you understand what budget you have to work with, but it’s just as important to do your homework on different local property markets and their values. It’s also crucial to know how much you’ll be able to borrow in a new area, so speaking to a mortgage adviser can help you assess what would be possible. Once you’re armed with the facts and figures, you can start house-hunting.
2. Do your research
Moving to a completely new area is a big commitment, so it’s important to consider whether your move will involve a major lifestyle change too. Doing your research on possible locations is crucial if you’re to assess where you want to live and if it’s the right place for you. As well as researching practicalities like schools, commuting time to work, available amenities and local cost of living, it’s worth spending as much time as possible in the area you’re considering to get a feel for whether you truly see yourself living there.
3. Understand bigger picture costs
Moving home, no matter how far, is a costly business, but if you’re moving to a whole new area, there can be additional expenses that you’ll have to factor in. This can include such things as travel for viewing properties, or higher costs for moving companies due to longer commuting times. In addition to this, you’ll also want to consider regional cost of living.
Different regions across the UK (or even abroad) will have their own local living costs, including fuel, council tax, bills and food shops, so it’s important that this is factored in when considering where to live. Similarly, if you’re upsizing, you’ll need to ensure you can keep up with the associated costs of maintaining a larger home.
4. What does it mean for your mortgage?
Many mortgages are ‘portable’, meaning you can transfer your current mortgage deal to a new property, but this isn’t guaranteed. To port your mortgage, you’ll essentially need to reapply for your mortgage deal with your lender to move it to a new property, but even then, you may not be accepted onto the same rate if your circumstances have changed since you originally took out the product. For example, lenders will consider if you’re now self-employed, your income versus outgoings, as well as the value of your new property. Before you commit to selling and buying a new property, it’s worth speaking to your lender to see whether you qualify for porting your mortgage, and if not, speaking to a mortgage broker who can help find the most suitable products for your circumstances.
5. Think of the future
Consider the commitment that a new house and city will require and what this means for your everyday life. If you are currently working from home, what is the likelihood that you will need to start commuting into an office again in the future? Is this only a short-term move, and if so, are there things you would be willing to compromise on, such as room sizing or distance to local amenities? Asking yourself questions like these will help you to make a more informed decision on your location and property type.